MOTSAG Pretend March Madness: East Sweet 16 and Elite 8

Dayton was one of the country’s biggest surprises this basketball season. And it continued that not-really-a-Cinderella story in the Pretend March Madness as Obi Toppin was simply unstoppable in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.

No. 1 Dayton 101, No. 12 Richmond 75 The only reason Richmond scored that much was because Dayton played most of its subs late and the Spiders scored a ton of garbage buckets. Toppin scored 41 points and Jalen Crutcher added 25 and 14 assists for the Flyers. Everyone on the UD roster played and everyone scored at least one basket. Dayton began the game on a 21-1 run and led 61-20 at halftime. Blake Francis scored 22 for the Spiders.

No. 2 Florida State 67, No. 3 Villanova 60 Villanova gave Dayton a blueprint for slowing down the athletic Seminoles by displaying a patient offense and zone defense that was tough to penetrate. But Florida State found just enough offense to win while the Wildcats struggled down the stretch. Trent Forrest scored 17 points for the Seminoles, while Justin Moore had 14 for the Wildcats.
Just like the committee drew it up, the two seeds advanced to the East Region final.

No. 1 Dayton 77, No. 2 Florida State 72 Madison Square Garden was transformed into the University of Dayton Arena East as Flyer Faithful packed the place. And they weren’t disappointed. With 10 seconds left and Dayton leading by three, Toppin grabbed a loose ball and led a fast break that ended with an emphatic 360-degree dunk, sealing the Flyers first trip to the Final Four since 1967. Toppin finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five posterizing dunks, earning a standing ovation from dunkmasters Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins, who were in attendance. After playing to a 32-32 first-half tie, Dayton opened a 10-point lead midway through the second half. But Forrest led the Seminoles back, tying the game with a three pointer with four minutes left. The teams seemingly traded makes and misses until Trey Landers made a three pointer to give Dayton a 75-72 lead with 30 seconds left.

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